Hello to everybody, I am Umberta Telfener, the new President of EFTA.

I am very honored to have received this assignment which I personally care very much about.

I am in EFTA since 1991, first as an individual and from 2010 representing the Milan Institute of Family Therapy (Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Cecchin). I become a member of the TIC Board in 2016 and from November 2020 I was its Chair. Now I will act as your President and intend to do my very best.

Six are my goals:

  1. Consolidate the great change we have reached in the last year – among others the trustful collaboration among Chambers and the Statutes change – in order for EFTA to continue the trusting relationship we have formed;
  2. Use resources to help the Chambers build research networks aimed at increasing publications and grants and, most important, extend research methodologies to capture what we do. I think we could do it joining the practitioner’s research;
  3. Provide collaboration with Chambers to keep an interested contact with the systemic world for continuing training: as trainers we cannot stay still.
  4. Create a space for the young generations, looking for options for their growth and occasions to test themselves;
  5. Connect EFTA with the international community, with other worldwide systemic Institutions, building also strong links with EAP.
  6. Monitor the overwhelming threats to human wellbeing, ecosystem survival and mental health posed by climate change and biodiversity loss, that seems denied by mental health professionals as a form of collective denial.

I intend to finish this greeting note telling you something about me: I live in Roma, Italy, work in private practice and supervise private and public Institutions. I worked for 10 years in a Mental Health public structure, was an adjunct at the Health Post Graduate School of the University of Roma La Sapienza.  l feel l am bossy but a listener, generous, strategic, I enter into conflict if needed in order to resolve issues and to enhance advancement, I am energetic and have leadership spirit and time.

Starting my mandate I thank the former President Monica White for holding EFTA in difficult times and take the lead hoping to follow her path and hoping in your feedback and active help.

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After a serious illness, our esteemed colleague and friend Jochen Schweitzer passed away on 31st October 2022, much too early at the age of 68. This is a huge loss for us personally and for the entire systemic field. We wish to express our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Jochen Schweitzer shaped the development of the systemic field in Germany in so many ways that it is difficult to focus on just a few areas. As a professor, psychologist and psychotherapist, he headed the Medical Organisational Psychology Section at the Institute of Medical Psychology at Heidelberg University Hospital from 2005 to 2022. From 2007 to 2013, he served as Chair of the DGSF (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Systemische Therapie, Beratung und Familientherapie e. V.), one of the two German associations for family therapy, with more than 9000 individual members. He co-founded the Helm-Stierlin-Institute in Heidelberg, one of the leading systemic training institutes in Germany, in 2002.

Jochen Schweitzer’s scientific achievements are visible in his enormous publication activities: he has contributed to more than 200 articles as sole, first or co-author, and has written more than 20 books as monograph, co-author or (co-)editor. He had repeatedly been able to recruit and support talented young researchers in the context of his numerous research projects in such diverse fields as organizational development, community psychiatry, medical psychology, psychotherapy research and other. Within the framework of the Heidelberg Systemic Research Conferences, which took place in 2014 and 2017 in an international context, Jochen Schweitzer connected systemic colleagues of different backgrounds and diverse research orientations with experts from other disciplines, with health politicians as well as with practitioners and young researchers. In recognition, Jochen Schweitzer received the EFTA award for his excellence in the field of research in family therapy and systemic practice in 2019. As one output of the international Heidelberg Systemic Research Conferences, Jochen edited together with the both of us the volume “Systemic Research in Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy and Counseling” in the EFTA Springer Book Series.

Our systemic community has lost a pioneer and a great human being in Jochen Schweitzer. His untimely death deepens our sorrow – and increases our responsibility to honor his work, his professional and human legacy, and to carry it into the world.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Ochs (Member of General Board of EFTA, Chair of the EFTA research committee) & Prof. Dr. Maria Borcsa (Past President of EFTA).


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Agenda Upcoming events

Dear Colleagues, Professors, Lecturers researchers, clinicians and friends. It is my great honour and privilege to welcome you to the European Family Therapy Association conference of 2022 in this wonderful city of Ljubljana.

I extend a warm welcome our keynote and invited speakers, If this is your first time attending an EFTA conference we thank you for choosing to attend and hope you will have a warm welcome to our EFTA community. To those keynote and invited speakers who have attended in the past we thank you especially for continuing your connection and input into our community. We hope with your attendance our EFTA conference will be able to achieve its aims, of providing a forum for academics,researchers teachers, clinicians and most importantly students to advance our knowledge and renew our networks in real life.

Our hosts this year are the Sigmund Freud university of ljubjania and the faculty of theology of the  University of Ljubljana. I thank Dean Vodicar from the faculty of theology for attending today and I extend our thanks to the  presidents and faculty members of both universities for their generosity in hosting the conference.

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European Psychologists with Ukrainian people

European psychologists who speak Russian, Ukrainian, English or French offer you psychological support online.

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6th Volume of EFTA Book series

Describes the history, value, and controversies of manuals. Examines manual use to guide and support systemic couples and family therapies Explores experiences in creating manuals as well as identifies research issues related to their clinical use and evaluation Reports on experiences with internationally established manuals, formulations of innovative practices by their founders, and specifications of […]

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The General Board of EFTA meeting together in Barcelona issue the following declaration:

We the European Family Therapy Association are appalled at the violence and aggression perpetrated by Russia in the invasion of Ukraine. We call upon the Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops immediately. This flagrant violation of the human right to safety and emotional well-being will have a traumatic impact on people caught up in the fighting on both sides and many others all over Europe for many generations to come.

We call upon all members of the family therapy community to offer their services to the families of all those affected by this conflict and help facilitate a dialogue for peace and security at every opportunity.

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  • Encourage professionals, Training Institutes and National Federations you consider eligible to join. (Refer to the websites of the 3 Chambers for membership categories and criteria).
  • Promote EFTA to students and trainees, supporting them to apply for associate membership.